As a Chicago Cubs fan, I couldn’t help but notice a particular triple play of events during Tuesday night’s All-Star Game:
1. The Midsummer Classic was held at the new Busch Stadium, home of the rival St. Louis Cardinals. Because of this fact, several Cardinals Hall-of-Famers were trotted out during the pregame festivities and current Cardinals were cheered loudly while the lone Cubs representative, pitcher Ted Lilly, was roundly booed during team introductions. (And Lilly didn’t end up pitching in the game, either.)
2. The American League continued its All-Star Game dominance, winning 4-3 to post a 12-0-1 record in the last 13 All-Star Games. If this trend continues, the National League may never have homefield advantage in the World Series again.
3. President Barack Obama wore a Chicago White Sox jacket while delivering the ceremonial first pitch to Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, who has a real shot at winning baseball’s elusive Triple Crown this season.
I like Obama, but was it really necessary for him to showcase Chicago’s South Side team in front of a national audience?
“Everyone knows I’m a White Sox fan and my wife thinks I look cute in this jacket,” Obama told FOX broadcasters Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. “Between those two things, why not?”
At least Obama didn’t rip the Cubs during the half-inning he spent in the broadcast booth. “I’m not a Cubs hater. … I just don’t root for them,” he said.
As a White Sox fan, Obama obviously rooted for the American League to win. Ironically, the National League scored all three of its runs while the president was in the broadcast booth — and White Sox hurler Mark Buehrle warmed up in the bullpen then, too.
Also notable was Hawaii native Shane Victorino’s single and run scored while Obama was in the broadcast booth during the bottom of the second inning. Obama also is a Hawaii native, which earned him a gift of macadamia nuts from Victorino before the game.
Although he correctly predicted the Pittsburgh Steelers winning the Super Bowl in February and the University of North Carolina winning the NCAA men’s basketball title in April, Obama declined to predict who will win the World Series this year.
“It’s a little early for that,” Obama said. “You know, I tend to try to get a little more information.”
As for the presidential first pitch, Obama lobbed the ball just hard enough to barely reach home plate. In that respect, former President George W. Bush did a better job than Obama. Bush, a former owner of the Texas Rangers, always threw a solid first pitch to the plate.
Obama threw out a first pitch one other time, before Game 2 of the 2005 American League Championship Series between the White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, when he was Illinois’ junior U.S. senator. The White Sox lost Game 1 of that series.
“After I threw out my first pitch, they won eight straight” to win the World Series, Obama noted.
Does that mean whatever American League team plays in the World Series this year will win it? We have to wait until fall to find out. In the meantime, I’m fairly certain no team will ask Obama’s replacement in the U.S. Senate, Roland Burris, to throw out a ceremonial first pitch — unless it’s the Washington Nationals, who seem to have a knack for doing dumb things like misspelling their name as “Natinals” on their jersey fronts.
Washington’s Adam Dunn (pictured) and Ryan Zimmerman took the field April 27 against the Marlins wearing “Natinals” jerseys — the “o” was missing from the logo. And Washington calls itself a major-league organization …